President Biden Calls Supreme Court Roe v. Wade Decision ‘Cruel’

Creator: Andrew Harnik | Credit: AP Copyright: Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

President Joe Biden said the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overturn the constitutional right to abortion will deny American women control of their own lives and called on voters to protect their rights in upcoming elections.

“It’s a sad day for the court and the country,” Biden said in a White House speech, calling the decision “cruel” and saying it takes America back 150 years.

The court ruling, issued just after 10 a.m. ET, left the White House scrambling to react, with Biden’s speech announced about an hour later.

“We were preparing for this to land next week,” a White House source said.

Some White House officials had planned to take the day off or work from home, expecting no news on the issue until the following week, according to a second person familiar with the matter. Next week is likely the court’s last week of the current term.

Others had focused their attention on Biden’s upcoming G7 trip to Europe.

Biden slammed the “extreme ideology” of the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, which was heavily shaped by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, but said there were few things he could do by executive order to protect women’s reproductive rights. He called on Congress to pass a law to restore abortion rights, and on voters to elect lawmakers and state leaders who would protect these rights.

Overturning the 1973 landmark Roe vs. Wade decision that protected abortion rights means “the health and life of women in this nation are now at risk,” said Biden, a lifelong Catholic. The original ruling “reaffirmed basic principles of equality, that women have the power to control their own destiny.”

Biden and other Democrats hope to use outrage over the court decision to rally voters in November’s midterm elections. Democrats are at risk of losing control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

“This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot,” Biden said.

The president said his administration would defend a woman’s right to cross state lines to seek an abortion and will take steps to make abortion medication widely available.

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